Bacterial blight is a serious disease of rice that is caused by the Gram negative bacterium, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo). The yield losses due to bacterial blight can be as high as 50%. The development of resistant host plant varieties is the most effective way of reducing yield losses due to bacterial blight. Several rice varieties have been developed that carry multiple genes for resistance against bacterial blight but pathogen variability is a constant threat for durability of resistance. The rice-Xoo interaction has also emerged as an important model pathosystem for studies of plant-pathogen interactions as the genome sequences of both interacting partners are available, methods for genetic transformation and mutagenesis have been developed and there is a lot genetic variability in terms of host resistance genes and pathogen races.
The international Conferences on Bacterial Blight (ICBB) of rice are held every three years; the first three have been held successfully in Tsukuba in 2004, Nanjing in 2007 and Seoul in 2010. These are prestigious conferences that are attended by the leading researchers in this field to discuss the latest developments in this research area. The fourth ICBB is being jointly organized in Hyderabad between Dec. 2-4, 2013 by the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Directorate of Rice Research and the Society for Advancement of Rice Research. The meeting will be held in the CSIR-CCMB.